Here are the five best nu-metal drummers, chosen by Alpha Wolf drummer Mitch Fogarty.

On their new record, Half Living Things, the group breaks free from their metalcore-leaning origins and engages the forceful push and pull of nu-metal.

With so much centered around groove, the drums creep into the forefront a bit more. With nu-metal in particular, the beat is what drives the entire song, locking things in tightly when it comes to crunchy breaks, while offering plenty of swagger when keeping it free and loose.

So, we wanted to know what nu-metal drummers stand out the most to Fogarty! But first, some essential information about Alpha Wolf.

What to Know About Alpha Wolf

From: Melbourne, Victoria (Australia)

First Album: Mono (2017)

New Album: Half Living Things

The Australian band formed in 2013, but didn’t release their debut record until 2017, having undergone some lineup changes along the way. Playing a mix of metalcore and beatdown hardcore, Alpha Wolf gained a lot of momentum on the back of 2020’s A Quiet Place to Die, which implemented some djenty rhythms and tones.

Now, with their third record dropping, Alpha Wolf have continued to evolve, now turning to rap rock/nu-metal to fuel their ferocity.

Listen to the single “Sucks 2 Suck” below.

“It’s about biting back at anyone saying you didn’t work hard for the shit you have,” vocalist Lochie Keogh says of the track, which features rapper and Body Count frontman Ice-T.

Alpha Wolf, “Sucks 2 Suck” ft. Ice-T

Speaking about the album, Keogh adds, “There can be no inner conflict without the constant tug of war between desire and disdain, the things you want versus the things you need, or the things that make you feel alive against the parts of it that do not. You cannot grow new parts without leaving the dead ones behind. You cannot be settled until you have truly known the opposite. Find out what makes you tick and just keep running around the clock until you’re happy enough to die.”

Get your copy of Alpha Wolf’s ‘Half Living Things’ here. Follow the band on Instagram, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter) and visit their website to see all their upcoming tour dates.

See Fogarty’s picks for the best nu-metal drummers directly below.

  • The Best Nu-Metal Drummers, Chosen by Alpha Wolf’s Mitch Fogarty

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  • Joey Jordison (Slipknot)

    This one feels like a no-brainer. Joey’s impact on nu-metal (and metal in general) is unmatched in my eyes.

    Every kid my age who started drumming wanted to be him and I am no exception. From the ferocity of his fills to the unique and catchy chaos of his beats, Joey’s playing felt like a tornado behind the kit and is definitely a huge inspiration for me.

  • Matt McDonough (Mudvayne)

    Mudvayne and Matt’s playing came to me at the perfect time when I was getting more into practicing metal drumming.

    His playing dances in between the rapidly changing feel and tempo shifts, always finding a suitably unique drum part for the section.

    That’s a great thing to strive for and I think is what makes his playing so influential to me.

  • Tom Decker (Spineshank)

    Spineshank are great. Tom’s playing suits the intensity and energy of Spineshank so well while also adding his own personal elements of electronic percussion to the mix.

    Tom is one of the first players I saw to have a hybrid set up and inspired me to get into electronic percussion as well.

  • John Dolmayan (System Of A Down)

    When you have a band as weird as System Of A Down, you’re gonna need weird drum beats. John Dolmayan has the exact character behind the kit required to fill this role.

    Not only does he match the almost ‘curious’ tendencies of the band’s writing with precision but he manages to make the parts catchy! Not as easy as it sounds. Plus, who didn’t learn “Toxicity” as soon as they could?

  • Chris George (Sworn In)

    If you go over the drummers before this, I guarantee you’ll find inspiration from them in Chris’ playing.

    Sworn In came a very long time after any of the other players on this list, but that’s what makes it so fun, I think.

    You can hear the inspiration from all of these big hitters from the golden age of nu-metal. If I were a newer drummer starting out, loving nu-metal again, I’d be learning from his example.

    Not to mention, Chris is a multi-instrumentalist, writing a lot of this material. He bleeds nu-metal, it’s wild. Lots of respect for him.